Regarding Johnny Damon’s Contact Rate | The Process Report

Regarding Johnny Damon’s Contact Rate

A few years ago, a fellow named Pizza Cutter wrote a post where he found the stabilizing points for certain offensive statistics. He now works in the Indians’ front office and the post has since disappeared from the internet thanks to a network’s failure to keep the site archived. Thankfully, I acquired a HTML version of the post and others have replicated the work. Within the post, Cutter found that contact rate (which is to say how often the batter makes contact on his swing attempts) stabilizes around 100 plate appearances.

This is relevant to the point I made last night about Johnny Damon. Entering Tuesday, Damon had a 60 percent contact rate (as a reference point, Carlos Pena had a 70 percent contact rate last season). Now, we’re far off from Damon reaching 100 plate appearances, but he’s whiffed more often in his first three games than I anticipated to see from him. I asked Marc Normandin whether this is a way of life for Damon, and he retorted that he usually fouls pitches off a lot. That matches my thoughts on what Damon should look like batting, and so far, those don’t match reality.

But, alas, it’s an extremely small sample size. I’m not at the point of being fearful or concerned yet. However, if this continues into May that’ll change in a hurry.

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